Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Beauty: Bare Escentuals Mineral Foundation Review

The first time I tried this foundation I absolutely loathed it. I couldn't get any coverage and it oxidised on me within an hour leaving me a shiny orange mess. Thankfully this little experiment took place while on holiday in Florida, so my return trip to Sephora easily rectified my horrendously unsuitable purchase.

That was in 2004.....

Roll on another four years and my search for the perfect foundation is frustratingly fruitless. My journey has taken me from MAC to Maybelline, from the just ok to the absolutely nightmarish. But through all those products my mineral curiosity remained: why is it so bloody good on some people and rubbish on me?
Then in the Summer of 2008 I attended a Hypnotherapy training course in Marin County, Northern California (over the bridge from San Francisco and absolutely beautiful) and one of my fellow students was waxing lyrical about her B.E. base while I nodded along, keeping my opinions to myself, but after my class my husband took me to the local mall and, as if by kismet, there stood a Bare Escentuals boutique beckoning me in with it's kitschy goodness.

Apprehensively, I wandered in, trying to avoid eye contact with the sales assistants, by some good luck I failed that mission and an assistant (who looked like the woman with the red hair the tutorial DVD) came over and asked me if I needed any help. I muttered something about being pale and shiny and she immediately came back with the original formula in Fair. To my surprise it was an exact match and my Spidey senses start to tingle.

She then showed me one of those introductory kits that hold everything but the kitchen sink: Primer, 2 brushes, 2 foundations, Warmth, (all hail) Mineral Veil and Clear Radiance, all for a bargain price. Bargain, that is, except for the fact that the two foundations are different colours, one of which is completely wrong for me. I mentioned this to the Sales Assistant, feeling rather despondent - wasting money is always a buzzkill - but she told me that it wasn't a problem because she would swap the two small pots for one large pot of the Fair! At this point I loved this woman, I was already getting a good deal but now I was getting a larger amount of foundation ( I made sure of this) in my exact colour, what a result!

I cannot remember the Assistant's name which is a shame because I made many trips back to that store and she, along with everyone else I spoke to in that store actually, was so friendly and helpful that it would have been nice to give her a name check here. The store was in The Village shopping complex in Corte Madera and I would definitely recommend it.

Here is how I like to use B.E. :
I always use the Full Flawless Face brush or one of the Kabukis. These brushes, along with the different shade, was the thing that made the most difference with my B.E. experience.
The Flawless Face brush that came with my first kit just doesn't give enough coverage for me, I use that to apply face colour, like Warmth, and it is perfect for that job.

I use the application method that is recommended, "Swirl, Tap, Buff", most of the time, but if my skin is looking a bit ropey I will just dunk the brush into the minerals and put it directly on my face. It means I can  go through product a bit quickly but I get great coverage this way.

Mineral Veil is a bit of a saviour for my greasy skin, but, again, using the right brushes is what makes it amazing because in my first kit it seemed to do nothing at all. I sometimes use it under my foundation as well as over and it is the only product that has done anything to combat my shiny T-Zone.

Lately my skin has been acting up a bit and Fair just started to look a bit "wrong" on me. I'm not really sure if I was just a bit darker this summer or if it was just some weird fluke but what I found helped was using a light coverage liquid foundation in a slightly too dark shade underneath my mineral foundation. This seemed to warm up the colour and just looked better overall. You could probably do this with tinted moisturizer too.

FYI, I have very pale, very oily, very sensitive, acne prone skin and B.E. has never broken me out, if anything, it has helped clear my skin up a bit.

I hope this (epically long!) review has been helpful.

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